Phil Silvers

  1. Edward Ashley, Pride and Prejudice, 1940.         Aldous Huxley worked onthe script and MGM felt their new signing,a rapid fire Brooklyn Jewish burlesque comic, could pass as an English clergyman..! Phil’s test -“Your modesty does you no dis-soy-vice” – hurt his career and he arranged to have it destroyed. JazzmanArtie Shaw said MGM didn’t know Silvers was acomic.“He wore glasses, so they thought: Treat him as a serious prime minister or something.”
  2. Jack Carson, Gentleman Jim, 1941.       Director Raoul Walsh didn’t always get his own way.   Errol Flynn as the boxer Corbett, yeah sure. But Head Brother Jack Warner (or was it Flynn?) did not fancy the champion scene-stealer Batry Fitzgerald as Jim’s father. Nor Phil Silvers as Walter. Nor Rita Hayworth or Ann Shsridan as the socialite beauty, Victoria. Walsh made do with Alan Hale, Jack Carson, Alexis Smith, while managing to keep Errol Flynn as Corbett.
  3. Myron McCormick,  China Girl, 1942.    Change of Shorty McGuire in the WWII  drama  – with Gene Tierney and George Montgomery
  4. John Astin, Move Over, Darling, 1963.    Under New Management casting as Marilyn Monroe’s aborted Something’s Got To Give, 1962, becomes a Doris Day vehicle!
  5. Milton Berle, The Loved One, 1965.  The motion picture with something to offend everyone…”  It would have been more so if Spanish legend Luis Buñuel had managed to  make it with Alec Guinness in  the mid-1950s. Instead, the newly Oscared UK director Tony Richardson made a mess of Evelyn Waugh’s satire of the American funeral home business. Best players on-screen were Milton Berle and Margaret Leighton arguing about how to bury their pet pooch. Such a flabbergasting mismatch, said Observer critic Charles Taylor.  in 2006., “no problem believing they’ve been married for years.” Richardson had hoped for larger mismatches: Phil Silvers wed to Vivien Leigh, Jeanne Moreau or Simone Signoret.  The first signed Agnes Moorhead was called back to Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte for re-shoots of her scenes with  Joan Crawford when she was replaced by Olivia De Havilland. The following year, Richardson directed Moreau in Mademoiselle and she was the co-respondent in Vanessa Redgrave’s divorce from him in 1967.

 Birth year: 1911Death year: 1985Other name: Casting Calls:  5